How to Clean Sinks and Make Them Sparkle?
Understand your sink
Let us understand it before going into further details about how you can clean kitchen sink. The sink involves a basin. This is the area where you wash the dishes, the square or oval hollow in which you keep utensils. The next part is the strainer. This is the part of the basin from which the water passes through the drain pipe. This is called a strainer as it filters huge chunks of food waste from getting into the drain pipe. The next part is the drain pipe. This needs a good cleaning too from time to time to prevent its clogging. Then comes the faucet. Although it does not as dirty as other parts, it needs thorough cleaning too so that it remains hygienic and keeps shining. The shelf along the sink is one part too. Although it is optional, you may or may not have it, still, we will discuss it. We will discuss how to clean each part one by one
Cleaning the sink by parts
The kitchen sink’s basin can be made of many different materials. You should use cleaners according to the material of your sink. Most of the kitchen sinks are made of stainless steel. The other materials used are cast iron, composite, porcelain, fireclay and bamboo.
Stainless steel –
This is the best option. It is cheap, sturdy and easy to clean. You can buy specific cleaners for sinks. Follow the instructions to clean it. You could also use just dishwashing liquid or even cloth washing surf to scrub off the dirt. However, we obviously have got natural and DIY methods for you to clean it. Sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda over the sink and let it sit overnight. Scrub and rinse with water in the morning. If the stains are harder to remove, then after sprinkling the baking soda and letting it stay all night, clean it with vinegar. This will also disinfect the basin. Another method is to use a paste of baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar. This is the prime solution for best results. You could also mix any of these two to obtain good results. Do not use steel wool as it is harmful to the shine and appearance of your sink.
After you are done, wipe the sink clean and dry using a microfiber cloth.
It will be a little harder to maintain than stainless steel. So you will need to take precautions. The things you need to be careful about are that the thing you are using to scrub should be soft like a cloth or a sponge scrub. The next thing is that you should use a mild detergent or cleaner. Make sure that the pans and utensils you keep in the sink do not scratch its surface as it will make marks on the sink. Do not leave acids on the sink, you can use vinegar but rinse it off immediately. Avoid steel wool at all costs. Do not let the stains of food sit in the sink. Wash them as soon as possible. Start with regular dish soap and clean the sink with the help of a sponge or cloth. You could also buy specific cleaners meant for porcelain sinks.
For natural cleansing, you can leave baking soda on the sink overnight and clean it with a sponge which is dipped in vinegar. But do rinse as quickly as possible with warm water. As far as bleach or ammonia is concerned, make sure you use a much diluted version of them.
Cast iron –
Avoid abrasive cleaners or tools at all costs to maintain the sink. Say no to steel wool, acids, wire brushes, etc at all costs. Use specific cleaners which are marketed for cast iron to clean it. If you want to go natural, use diluted vinegar with baking soda to clean the sink. Try doing your work with hot water if you can. It will be the best thing to clean the sink with. After you are done with the cleaning, rinse once with cold water and wipe dry with the help of a microfiber cloth. Prefer microfiber because other clothes will not offer the cleanliness offered by microfiber.
If the stain is too hard to get, dilute vinegar in warm water ( equal parts of both ) and try cleaning with that. Rinse as soon as possible. To remove water stains, use a paste of baking soda and water. Use cleaners as rarely as possible. To avoid stains in the first place, clean food marks as soon as you get them on the sink. Place pots and pans carefully, avoid scratches on the sink. You could buy a rubber cover for the sink so that it is protected from scratches.
How to clean rust you ask? Here is the answer. Apply a paste of borax and lemon juice. That is all you need. Leave it there for some time and rinse it away. The rust will be gone. But get the sink polished as soon as possible after that because it just invites more rust on it.
Granite Composite –
There are many products in the market that will help you clean a granite composite. You can definitely try them out as they are specifically made for the job.
You can use our prime ingredients – baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice for any kind of stains in this sink if you want to go natural. Make a paste of any of the two ingredients and scrub the stains away. Again you can leave baking soda sprinkled over the sink overnight to clean it well.
Follow the following instructions to retain the shine. If you have stain issues, this could still work, but then you will have to do one round of soap or some other cleaner. The first step for a good thorough shining and cleaning will be to use a sponge or cloth with any oil and rub the sink with it properly. Let it sit for 5 minutes and wipe the oil properly.
Fireclay is much more resistant to scratches and marks than cast iron sinks. So you can even use abrasive cleaners on them. But still, avoid extremely abrasive ones. Use only diluted bleach and ammonia if you are going to use them. Avoid steel wool too. We still recommend the tip we have recommended for every other sink type- sprinkle baking soda generously over the sink and leave it overnight. Scrub with vinegar or lemon juice in the morning. You should buy certain specific cleaners for fireclay sinks too. You could just use soapy water or vinegar based cleaners. Scrub with a sponge or cloth and then dry it with a microfiber cloth. For even difficult stains, you can use a mixture of water and bleach. Both should have equal parts.
One more thing you will need to be careful about is the temperature. Do not directly pour hot boiling water into the sink. If you have to, run the cold water tap so that the temperature can be neutralized. Do not keep extremely hot pots and pans into the sink directly.
Mild soap is the key to cleaning a bamboo sink. Just do the gentle scrubbing with a sponge with warm soapy water. If the stains are difficult, use oil to soften the stains. You can clean bamboo sinks with vinegar too but rinse it immediately. As always, it is obviously best to buy a specific cleaner meant for these sinks only. Do disinfect it sometimes but for that, buy a specific cleaner. Vinegar will not disinfect properly, so buy a specific cleaner meant for the material.
For the extremely stubborn stains, clean them with any oil. The oil can get the stain or stuck gunk to soften and then you can wash it all off with dishwashing liquid easily.
Now we discuss how you can clean the kitchen faucet or tap.
Like the sinks, we will discuss the materials used to make faucets and how you can clean whatever type of faucet you have got. Avoid lead in your faucet as a material because it can cause adverse health effects.
It is the strongest type of material in terms of corrosion so hard water cannot erode it easily. You may clean it with whatever you want. Do not use too much acid though to keep it safe. Whenever you hear the word brass, brasso should be the first word that comes to your mind. They will easily keep the shine maintained.
Limescale is a common problem too. To remove limescale, work with vinegar. Let the vinegar sit on the tap for around half an hour or more depending on the intensity of the limescale. Then remove it.
Die cast zinc alloy
They are less expensive but they are fairly durable. This is not a good investment since as soon as the polish wears off; the faucet will start to erode. They key here is to get it plated or polished again if the polish wears off. Using even soap water can be a no in these faucets. You will have to be extremely careful about cleaning them. It will be best to buy a specific cleaner meant for it so that the polish remains intact for a longer time. Vinegar too is a huge no. you may want to rub of difficult stains with oil, but do proper research about what you can and can not use on this faucet.
Brass and Chrome plated
These are a bit difficult to maintain and might seem like a cheap investment at first but they are actually going to erode as soon as the plating wears off. The faucets just have a coating of brass and hence are not that durable. Avoid any acids and even abrasive soaps or detergents. Oil can be a good friend here but make sure to ask some professional about how you should clean your faucet as they will be able to advise you best.
Electroplated chrome on brass
The lamination lasts longer than the above two options and is relatively cheaper than brass faucets too. So this is the middle area of buying faucets. Soapy water will work well here. You may also use baking soda. Avoid vinegar for a better and longer life.
They might sound easy to clean but are actually the least durable. They will keep breaking off and hence are not a good investment. Plastic will be very easy to clean with soap or detergents.
These are made of stainless steel most of the time. If your strainer is removable, then it’s the best because you can easily clean it then. However, if it is not removable, you should put another removable one on top of it so that it is an easier job to clean the fixed one. If the strainer is removable, pull it out and knock it sharply along the sides of your dustbin such that all the waste is emptied into the dustbin. Then run it through the water once to get rid of more stuck food. The next thing should be to soak it in soapy water overnight. This will soften the dirt even more. Next morning, scrub it all away with the help of detergent and brush. One other method you can use is to wet the strainer and then sprinkle baking soda all over it. Leave it overnight. Scrub with a toothbrush dipped in vinegar the next morning.
If the strainer seems less shiny or seems like it is catching rust, soak a paper towel in vinegar and wrap it properly around the strainer. Leave it for an hour or more and it will be shiny as new. But this is harmful. Since the rust was just eroded, the new surface is ready to get rusted. It will be best if you get the strainer polishes again if it starts catching rust at all.
If the strainer is non-removable, you might have a difficult time removing all the food that it is straining, but you will have to do that. Once you are done, wet it and sprinkle baking soda all over it. Leave it overnight and scrub with vinegar in the morning. Use a toothbrush for better scrubbing in hard to reach areas. Rinse it off.
You could also just make a paste from lemon juice and baking soda and using a tooth brush, scrub the strainer clean. You may also mix vinegar with baking soda.
Be careful about the quality of the material of the strainer. If it is polished or coated, then you will have to be careful.
We can obviously not open the pipe to clean it, but it will be good to put some liquids through it which will do the cleaning for us. The outside of the pipe can be cleaned by you. If you can remove the pipe, leave it soaked in detergent or soapy water overnight. The water should be warm though. It will be very easy to clean its exterior in the morning in that case. Just scrub once and rinse through cold water.
Now let’s discuss the pipe that cannot be removed. The way to clean it too is simple. Just pour a pot of hot boiling water down the drain. This will do most of the work. Then put at least 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Let it sit there for around 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes, boil vinegar. Then run the hot vinegar down the drain. Immediately after that, pour another pot of hot boiling water down the drain. Do the last step again after 15 minutes. You can also pour a mixture of baking soda and the lemon juice down the drain.
One step method would be to let undiluted bleach sit in your kitchen drain for just 10 minutes and then run hot water through it.
This is another part of the kitchen. But unlike other shelves, the shelf beside the sink often harbours wet utensils. It needs proper cleaning too. A wash with warm soapy water might be just enough. But you can also scrub it out with oil. This will not only retain shine, but it will also clean the shelf.
Wondering on how you should reduce the smell in your sink ? just leave lemon or orange slices in the sink overnight !
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